England international keen to make his mark down under
Melbourne Rebels second-row Geoff Parling is determined to make an impact in his new surroundings during the upcoming Super Rugby campaign.
Parling, fresh off the plane from a season with the Sanix Blues in Japan, was straight into training with the Rebels on Tuesday.
After 15 years in the Premiership with Newcastle, Leicester and Exeter, Parling is preparing for a new career challenge in the most competitive and demanding domestic rugby competition in the world.
“It was an opportunity for me to do something different and test myself in a completely different competition – hopefully it’s a good decision,” Parling said of his decision to join the Rebels.
“I’ve heard that Super Rugby is quicker in general than the Premiership.
“When I finished up in England they were big on (keeping) the ball in play so I imagine it would be quite similar, but you probably get some higher scores than what I’m used to.
“I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in, I expect the lungs to be blowing a bit and we’ll go from there.”
Capped 54 times for England and three times with the British & Irish Lions, Parling will bring a wealth of experience to a highly competitive squad and depth to the locks which feature Adam Coleman, Matt Philip, Sam Jeffries and young guns Esei Ha’angana and Trevor Hosea.
“I just want to put my best foot forward and get stuck in,” the 34-year-old said.
“There’s a good buzz around the squad, it’s a new team for a lot of people, the competition is there and a really good squad on paper but it’s not about that.
“It’s about what you’re going to do as a team together.”
Parling, who returned to Melbourne for the first time since his tour with the Lions in 2013, said he’s excited to start the next chapter of his career with the Rebels.
“It seems like a good bunch of guys and there’s a good feeling around the squad, every seems keen to work hard and learn,” he added.
“I would like to prove to myself that I’m good enough to play in Super Rugby, then I would like to try add something to the squad and club.
“It’s a new club so if I can help push the Rebels and offer something to help the club win, I’ll be very happy.”